Native Son

by Wright, Richard

Richard Wright’s Native Son tells the story of 20-year-old Bigger Thomas, a black American youth living in utter poverty in Chicago's South Side during the 1930s. When Bigger unintentionally murders a white woman, he is put on trial and eventually convicted, and sentenced to the electric chair. Often recognized as a protest novel, Native Son stresses systemic racial issues, prompting the reader to feel both sympathy and empathy for Bigger. In this, the novel is one of the earliest successful attempts to explain the racial divide in America in terms of the conditions imposed on African-Americans by the dominant white society.

Soon after publication, Native Son was selected by the Book of the Month Club as its first book by an African-American author. Indeed, the novel was an immediate best seller, selling 250,000 hardcover copies within three weeks of its publication. As a result of the novel’s success, Wright became the first bestselling and the wealthiest black writer of his time, establishing him as a spokesperson for African-American issues and, to many, the “father of Black American literature.” In 1941, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Wright awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal.

Unsurprisingly, Native Son was challenged in many public schools and libraries and is listed in the American Library Association's list of the “Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–1999.” Yet most institutions in which the novel was challenged successfully fought to keep Wright's work accessible, particularly in the classroom, defending it as a guide into the reality of the complex adult and social world.

 

Native son is listed as 20th on the Modern Library’s list of the “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It is also included in TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923).

First Edition Identification and Notes

Harper & Brothers first published Native Son in 1940. With a dark blue cover stamped in red and white, first editions state “First Edition” on the copyright page with "A - P" below the statement. The dust jacket of the first edition is green and yellow and states the original price of  $2.50.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

In 1991, the Library of American published Native Son in its original entirety. This edition contains an introduction, a chronology, and notes by Arnold Rampersad, a well-regarded scholar of African-American literary works, as well as Wright's 1940 essay “How ‘Bigger’ Was Born.”

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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1940
Condition
Fine
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£15,064.20

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New York: Harpers, 1940. Hardcover. Fine/Fine. First edition. Fine in fine dust jacket with a couple of tiny tears. A beautiful, fresh copy of the true first edition with none of the seemingly inevitable spine fading. This copy Inscribed by Wright in the year of publication: "To Ray M. Lawless with my best wishes. Sincerely, Richard Wright. 6/29/40.… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA
Published
1940
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Fine
Edition
First Edition
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£2,929.15

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. First Edition. Fine/Very Good. First edition, first printing. Bound in publisher's dark blue cloth with titles blocked in red and off-white. Pages toned, previous owner name to front paste down and foxing to endsheets, still Fine. In a Very Good unclipped first issue dust jacket a bit edge-worn and soiled. An African-American… Read more
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cover of Native Son.

Native Son.

by Wright, Richard

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1940
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£1,255.35

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New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940. First edition, first issue binding with "A - P" on the copyright page. Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, raised bands, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. In fine condition. An exceptional presentation. Richard Wright's ground-breaking novel Native Son… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Carpetbagger Books, IOBA
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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£1,129.82

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New York: Harper and Brothers, 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. Very Good in a Good first-issue jacket, unclipped ($2.50), crossed out in pencil with 1.00 next to the printed price, faded at the spine, small chips to the corners and edges. Blue buckram with white and red ink panels and lettering on the spine and front board,… Read more
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Native Son.

by WRIGHT, Richard.

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Jeffrey H. Marks Rare Books
Published
1940.
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Small owner's embossed name in upper corner of title page; some scattered light foxing in a good to very good jacket with a
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First edition; first binding, in the first dust jacket.
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£711.37

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New York:: Harper & Brothers,, 1940.. First edition; first binding, in the first dust jacket.. original cloth.. Small owner's embossed name in upper corner of title page; some scattered light foxing in a good to very good jacket with a vertical tear from top to bottom on the rear panel which has been neatly mended, and some minor edgewear..… Read more
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cover of NATIVE SON.

NATIVE SON.

by Wright, Richard 1908-60.

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New York & London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940. [True] Stated First (SD) with "A-P" below First Edition on copyright page edition. Original blue cloth with red, gray and blue labels uniquely rebound in-house by KTB in acid free J. Hewit Red and blue Cawburn goat retaining original top board label for book with 5 raised bands and original spine… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

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mclinhavenbooks
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
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£435.19

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USA: Constable & Co. Limited, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. 1st Printing 1 Copyright date 1940, first edition, light blue cloth over boards with guilt lettering and design on the spine. Some light wear to the spine area, previous owners name written on the inside front flyleaf. Top page… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Bookbid Rare Books
Published
1940
Condition
Near fine.
Edition
First
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£418.45

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New York: Harpers, 1940. First. hardcover. Near fine.. First edition (stated on the copyright page) in the true first edition binding (blue cloth, labeled in white and red). Near fine. No dust jacket.
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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OLDPRINTBOOKS
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1st Edition
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£401.71

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1st Edition. Hardcover. Dust Jacket Included. 1940 very rare original stated first edition blue cloth hardcover(TRUE FIRST EDITION) & original even more rare very good UNCLIPPED jacket protected in Mylar jacket- ONE OF A KIND COLLECTIBLE HITS
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Bookbid Rare Books
Published
1940
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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£376.61

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NY: Harper, 1940, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Dust Jacket Included. Published in New York by Harper & Brothers in 1940. First Edition is stated on copyright page. Book near fine except for slight wearing on spine ends and corners, fading and discoloration (spotting) on paste downs, free end pages, and randomly throughout inside pages. DJ (facsimile) fine. DJ… Read more
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Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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St Philip's Books
Published
1940
Condition
Good
Edition
1st ed 1st imp
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£350.00

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Victor Gollancz, 1940. ~Dustwrapper very scarce. Text browned. Dustwrapper faded & edgeworn with old brown paper repairs to rear & small tears to rear spine edge, but unclipped & protected in removable clear plastic sleeve. Original blue cloth, faded on spine. No ownership marks. Hinges uncracked but slightly slack. ~Robust packaging.. 1st ed 1st imp. Hardback. Good/Good. 459pp. Spine leans… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

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mclinhavenbooks
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
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£368.24

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New York: Hubbard Brothers, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/No Jacket. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. 1st Printing 1 Copyright date is 1940. xi+359, top edge tinted grey. The book is stated as a first edition with the letters A-P notated under the words "first edition". The binding is on boards covered with dark grey cloth… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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curtis paul books inc.
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good with no dust jacket
Edition
First Edition
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£313.83

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NY: Harper & Brothers. Very Good with no dust jacket. 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. Dark blue cloth (appears black) stamped in red on gray. True first edition with the A-P code. Edges/points lightly rubbed/bumped, front hinge mildly starting, few minor stains. Lacking the DJ. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, RICHARD

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S.E. Murphy Rare Books
Published
1940
Condition
Fine
Edition
First Edition
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£292.92

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New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Very good. 8vo. Stated first edition with A-P on title page. Bound in publisher's grey cloth with gold lettering to the spine. Second issue dust jacket with minor chipping to bottom of spine. A fine copy of this rare book. Wright received a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete his… Read more
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NATIVE SON

by Wright, Richard

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J. Wyatt Books
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Printing
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£264.67

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. 359 pages in very good condition. Pages are clean and unmarked. A section is clipped out of the ffep. Page edges are deckled and lightly darkened. Head edges dyed with black publisher's stain. Bound in grey cloth with gilt titles on the spine. Lightly faded on the spine. Lightly worn around the edges and… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

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Oshtemo Book Sellers
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
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£246.89

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New York: Harper and Brothers Publishing, 1940. 1st Edition . Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Wright's classic story of life in the "most segregated city in America" Chicago, in the early 20th century. Book has gray cover and in very good + condition, except for the black and gold printing on… Read more
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Native Son (Native Son the restored text established by the library of America, 1908/2008 Centennial

by Richard Wright

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GridFreed LLC
Published
2008-01-01
Condition
New
ISBN
9780061366314
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£235.40

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Harper Perennial Modern Classi, 2008-01-01. Hardcover. New. New.
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
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£230.11

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. Very Good- in boards. A few stains to boards. A few markings to front pastedown and FEP. Stated First Edition, with publisher's code "A-P". ; ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1960
Condition
Very Good
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£209.23

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Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1960. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. First Australian edition. Very good with cocked spine, owner's bookplate, owner's signature, and foxing to endpapers and page edges in good dustwrapper with long tears and tape repairs to spine, age-toning to back panel, but a bright, lovely front panel. Along with Ellison's *Invisible Man* and *Baldwin's Go Tell It… Read more
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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David Kaye Books & Memorabilia
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition ~1st Printing
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£209.23

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New York: Harper & Bros, 1940. First Edition ~1st Printing. Hardcover. very good in professional reproduction dust jacket, in fresh mylar cover; gentle rubbing/bumping to board edges, minor abrasions to topstain, mild rubbing to title on cloth spine else a tight square unmarked copy in mint reproduced jacket; stated first edition with A-P
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NATIVE SON

by Wright, Richard

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J. Wyatt Books
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good+
Edition
First Edition
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£192.49

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. Hardcover; 8vo; 359 pages. First edition thus, second printing (copyright page: A-P: January 1941). Grey-blue cloth hardcovers with gilt lettering on black paint label on spine. Light edgewear. Tops dyed, fore-edge deckled. Prev. owner's bookplate on fep. Lightly yellowing, but bright and clean interior. Lovely condition. In a second state dj. Sunned spine, bumped/chipped… Read more
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Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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abookshop
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good +
Edition
First Edition
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£188.30

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NY: Harpers, 1940. Bound in the first sate dark blue cloth stamped in red and grey with First Edition stated on the copyright page with "A-P" under the slugline. A most acceptable copy and now fitted with a facsimile dustwrapper that fits the book perfectly. . First Edition. Hard Cover. Very Good +/Fine (Facsimile DW).
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Carpetbagger Books, IOBA
Published
1940
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
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£180.77

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New York: Harper and Brothers, 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/Very Good. Near Fine second state binding in a Very Good second state jacket, rubbed at the edges and surface. Grey buckram with a black ink panel and gilt lettering and designs on the spine. Square and firmly bound with a dark grey top stain, clean internally. Wright's… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1940
Condition
Near Fine
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£167.38

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. Hardcover. Near Fine. First edition. Very light wear at the spine ends, else near fine lacking the dustwrapper. Along with Ellison's *Invisible Man* and Baldwin's *Go Tell It On the Mountain*, one of the indisputable mid-century classics of African-American literature.
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
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£166.54

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. Very Good in cloth. Owner name and date on FEP. First Edition statement and "A - P" on the copyright page. ; ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1968
Condition
Near Fine
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£154.83

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New York: Harper and Brothers. DJ in archival cover tiny chips, tape repair toning. Facsimile First Edition reprint. . Near Fine. Hardcover. 1968.
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

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Peyton Wilson
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good-
Edition
First
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£125.54

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Owned by the editor for Harper's (Thomas J. Wilson) who worked with Richard Wright on the book.
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1940
Edition
Book Club Edition
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£125.49

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. Book Club Edition. Hardcover. Very Good+ in a Very Good price clipped dust jacket. All 4 flap corners clipped, price remains. Light rubbing along panel edges. 2 inch open tear at spine crown. Few other small open tears alogn panel edges. Stated First Edition. .
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Old Saratoga Books
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good in Good dust jacket; Jacket tattered and chipped at spine.
Edition
First Edition; Second Printing
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£104.61

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NY: Harper and Brothers. Very Good in Good dust jacket; Jacket tattered and chipped at spine.. 1940. First Edition; Second Printing. Hardcover. Gray cloth binding. Second printing, second state binding with second state dust jacket illustrated by Floethe. B-P code on copyright page. No price printed on jacket. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 359 pages .
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Last Exit Books
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good in Very Good- dust jacket
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£104.57

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E-142: Harper & Bros. Very Good in Very Good- dust jacket. 1940. Hardcover. Hardcover. 8vo. Harper & Brothers Publishers. 1940. 359 pgs. First Edition/Later State Binding and DJ. Later state pictorial DJ has light shelf-wear present to the DJ. No ownership marks present. Text is clean and free of marks, binding tight and solid, boards clean with… Read more
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Native Son

by Richard Wright

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Westsider Rare & Used Books Inc.
Published
1940
Condition
Good++ faded spine, wear to extrems. Former owner's name on the FFEP. Stated first edition A-P. Top edged stained.
Edition
First Edition
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£100.43

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New York: Harper & Bros, 1940. First Edition. Hardcover, missing Dust Jacket. Good++ faded spine, wear to extrems. Former owner's name on the FFEP. Stated first edition A-P. Top edged stained. .
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Edition
The First Edition Library - FEL; First Printing
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£100.39

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Shelton, CT: The First Edition Library - FEL. Facsimile edition. The First Edition Library - FEL; First Printing. Hardcover. Fine in a Fine dust jacket in a Very Good slipcase. Slipcase bumped. Facsimile Edition. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1940
Edition
BOMC Book-Of-the-Month-Club
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£96.20

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. BOMC Book-Of-the-Month-Club. Hardcover. Very Good in a Good dust jacket. Flaps clipped on corners, book plate. First Edition stated with A-P. Below. BOMC slip neatly laid in. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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SequiturBooks
Published
1940-01-01
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Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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£94.32

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Harper & Brothers, 1940-01-01. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. First Edition stated on copyright page, A-P Code. Bound in publisher's cloth. Hardcover. No dust jacket. Good binding and cover. Shelf wear. Owner's names on end pages, else unmarked. xi, 359 p., 21 cm. <br> "If one had to identify the single most influential shaping force in modern Black… Read more
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NATIVE SON

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Second Life Books Inc
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition
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£88.71

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NY: Harper, 1940. First Edition. 8vo, pp. 359. Slightly scuffed at ends of spine, in the more common second binding of gray cloth. A nice copy in chipped dj.
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cover of Native Son (Perennial Classics)

Native Son (Perennial Classics)

by Wright, Richard

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Bonita
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Good
ISBN
9781435293403
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£87.93

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Library Binding. Good. Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
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cover of Native Son [Hardcover] Richard Wright

Native Son [Hardcover] Richard Wright

by Richard Wright

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Twice Sold Tales
Published
1997-12-01
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9781568496948
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£83.69

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Buccaneer Books, 1997-12-01. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. 1940 Harper & Brothers hard cover - stated First Edition A-P - no dust jacket - gray-blue texture to cover - Gold letters against black backround - number inside frotn cover - otherwise cover fine binding strong contents clean - page edge clean - a very nice collectible
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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curtis paul books inc.
Published
1940
Condition
Near Fine in Very Good+ dust jacket
Edition
First Edition
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£83.68

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NY: Harper & Brothers. Near Fine in Very Good+ dust jacket. 1940. First Edition. Hardcover. First edition second state (first edition A-P) hardcover, gray cloth titled in gilt/black title box, gray topstain. Spine ends a bit pushed else near fine. The DJ in mylar is price clipped, slightly rubbed/small closed tear at spine ends, small flaw mid… Read more
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1987-01-01
Condition
New
ISBN
9780060808556
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£81.10

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Perennial Library, 1987-01-01. Paperback. New. New.
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Native Son

by Richard Wright

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Colorado's Used Bookstore, Inc.
Published
January 1998
Condition
Very Good
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£79.51

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The Easton Press, January 1998. Hardcover . Very Good/No Jacket. Like New. May have some shelf wear from being out in store. All Orders Shipped With Tracking And Delivery Confirmation Numbers.
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cover of NATIVE SON

NATIVE SON

by Richard Wright

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition; Early Printing
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£79.46

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New York: Harper & Brothers. 1940. First Edition; Early Printing. Hardcover. Very Good+ in boards. Owner inscription on FEP. .
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NATIVE SON

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Second Life Books Inc
Published
1940
Edition
First Edition
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£73.65

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NY: Harper, 1940. First Edition. 8vo, pp. 359. Slight tear on spine, cover slightly worn at corners, in the more common second binding of gray cloth, o/w VG.
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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Rose's Books, IOBA
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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£71.14

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New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. Book. Very Good. Hardcover. First Edition. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1940. First edition, second printing. Second state binding. Pages top stained. Fine grey cloth, gold chains on spine, gold on black titles. 359 pp. Two-color title page. Previous owner's name on ffep, else fine. In… Read more
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cover of Native Son: And How Bigger Was Born

Native Son: And How Bigger Was Born

by Richard Wright

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1993-01-01
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New
ISBN
9780060812492
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£69.89

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Perennial, 1993-01-01. Paperback. New.
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1900-01-01
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New
ISBN
9780060809775
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£69.32

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HarpPeren, 1900-01-01. Mass Market Paperback. New.
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cover of Native Son,

Native Son,

by Wright, Richard

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Antiquariat Orban & Streu GbR
Published
1940
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£65.42

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1940. Erstausgabe (in der Modern Library), New York, Random House (= The Modern Library 221), copyright 1940 (vermutlich aber eher 1941-1942), 8°, XI, 394 S., gemusterte Vorsätze, Text: englisch, original Leineneinband mit dem toll illustr. original Schutzumschlag (rückseitig mit Verlagsprogramm bedruckt), der Umschlag an den Kanten etwas berieben und auch zart angerändert, sonst ein gutes, sauberes Exemplar (L-pr) Should… Read more
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by Richard Wright

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Attic Gallery Sydney
Published
1940
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
£66.62

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1940 First Australian Edition, Angus and Robertson Sydney London 1940. Hardcover with jacket. A Book of the Month Club Selection. Important Modern African American Novel. Very good clean and sound copy, spotting endpapers, a small insect nibble hole through prelims. Good jacket, browned and chipped at edges, now plastic protected.
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cover of Native Son

Native Son

by WRIGHT, Richard

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Riverrun Books & Manuscripts
Published
1940
Condition
Jacket with a few chips and short tears at extremities and along edges, the cloth bright and with spine ends somewhat rolled
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£66.95

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New York and London: Harper & Brothers, 1940. Jacket with a few chips and short tears at extremities and along edges, the cloth bright and with spine ends somewhat rolled. 8vo. 359 pages. Original grey cloth; pictorial dust jacket. FIRST EDITION, stated "First Edition / A - P" on verso of title, in the second jacket for the… Read more
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Native Son

by Wright, Richard

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First Choice Books
Published
1940
Condition
Fine
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
£65.28

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Description:
Harper And Brothers, 1940. no interior or exterior marks / lettering on spine faded / overall great condition;. First Edition. Cloth. Fine/No Jacket.
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Item Price
£65.28
No cover image available

Native Son (Signet S794) [Mass Market Paperback] Richard Wright and James Avati

by Wright, Richard

Seller
GridFreed LLC
Published
1950-01-01
Condition
Very Good
Item Price
£65.24

Show Details

Description:
Signet, 1950-01-01. Mass Market Paperback. Very Good. 1961 first Signet printing, stated. No marking to text. Light spine creasing. Age tanning to page ends.
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Item Price
£65.24